Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); March 9, 2022: Several political prisoners, including Sepideh Gholiyan, Soheila Hejab, Zeinab Jalalian, Arsham Rezaee, and Abbas Vahedian-Shahroudi, who are reported to be in bad physical condition, are deprived of medical care and denied medical furlough.
Iran Human Rights demands all prisoners, including political prisoners, are granted access to medical care and medical furlough. Director, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said: “Islamic Republic authorities are deliberately and systematically preparing the grounds for the political prisoners’ deaths by restricting their access to medical care and furlough. We call on the international community and human rights organisations to take this issue seriously and respond appropriately to prevent the gradual death of civil activists and political prisoners in Iran.”
Workers rights activist Sepideh Gholiyan’s health is deteriorating after contracting Covid-19 in Bushehr Prison, where she is serving her five-year-sentence. Prison authorities have denied her medical furlough.
In an Instagram post, her brother, Mehdi wrote: “The shortest and clearest way to explain the situation is with one sentence: ‘Sepideh Gholiyan’s life is still in danger.”
The physical condition of political prisoners Soheila Hejab, Zeinab Jalalian, Arsham Rezaee and Abbas Vahedian-Shahroudi are also reported to be serious. They have also all been denied medical furlough.
It should be noted that Gonabadi dervish, Behnam Mahjoubi and poet and filmmaker, Baktash Abtin are just two political prisoners who died in custody as a result of medical care denial in the last year.
Prior to contracting Covid-19, an outside medical facility determined that Sepideh Gholiyan required surgery and medical care but prison authorities refused to allow her treatment.
Sepideh was summoned to Branch Two of the Bushehr Public and Revolutionary Court on 20 September 2021 and charged with “publishing lies online and propaganda against the system.”
She had released a short documentary titled “Peng” a month prior in which she talked about some of the women she had met in prison and exposed abuse and torture by prison officials and social workers in Bushehr Prison.
In a Twitter thread on September 9, she called Bushehr Prison “a place near the end of the earth” where women prisoners are forced to provide sexual services, didn’t have the right to wear underwear, even when menstruating and even the children of prisoners are abused. She wrote: “In the dungeons of Bushehr, any defiance and disobedience against the cruel and inhuman orders by prison administrators is tantamount to being more and more crumpled in this filth that has no voice and no face."